The Seattle Sounders needed an 89th minute goal to survive and an overtime strike from Stephen King to reach the first final in the MLS club's young history as the Sounders rallied to post a 2-1 overtime victory against the Houston Dynamo in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Tuesday night.
The Sounders will meet D.C. United in the final after D.C. defeated the Rochester Rhinos of the USL, 2-1. Thabiso Khumalo scored the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute to move D.C. one step closer to defending its U.S. Open Cup title.
Seattle nearly didn't reach the final when Houston carried a 1-0 lead into the final minutes of their match in Tukwila, Washington, but Nate Jaqua scored an equalizer to keep Seattle alive, before King scored the game-winner four minutes into overtime to seal the victory.
Seattle and D.C. United will meet in the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at RFK Stadium.
What do you think of the Sounders reaching the final? Think D.C. United will repeat as champions?
Share your thoughts on tonight's matches below.
I’m a Sounder fan and I have to admit, that was not a full strength Houston side. Holden would have been the best player on the pitch IMO and he was unavailable. However, the game wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicates. Seattle had like 25 shots and with a little luck it could have been 5 or 6 to 1.
I don’t think any MLS squad has a “C” team. For the last 60 minutes of the match, Houston’s “B” team got worked over and were lucky just to get extra time.
Wembley is not a home game for anyone, not even a London club. Chelsea’s park is Stamford Bridge, not Wembley. You think when Chelsea play in White Hart Lane it’s “home cooking” because it’s in the same city?
For comparison purposes, no gridiron Super Bowl has ever been played in the home stadium of one of the teams. The fact that the Open Cup is being played at DC United’s stadium is down to poor organization and lack of interest. Hopefully this will change someday. We need a cup competition in addition to a league.
the complaints about the location of the final are a bit much now in terms of it invalidating the tournament somehow.
I’m sorry but the FA cup is ALWAYS played in London. If you think it is ‘neutral’ for say Everton to play Chelsea in London you are smoking some mighty find stuff because that is a de facto home game for Chelsea. If Everton was playing a team from Italy in Wembley though then yeah it’s home cooking for them.
The same thing can, and has many times, happened in the UEFA Champions league.
’58 Real Madrid
’67 ManU (Wembley)
’72 Ajax (Rotterdam v. Juve–the Netherlands is about the size of Los Angeles county so any Dutch team playing a non-Dutch team has a home game)
’77 Liverpool (Wembley)
’83 Liverpool (defeats Roma in ROME)
’85 Bucaresti (beats Barca in Seville)
’86 Porto (beats Bayern in Vienna which is practically a home game for Bayern)
’89 Milan (wins in Vienna which is practically a home game for them seeing as they are in a part of Italy that believes themselves to be more Austrian than Italian-Tyrol)
’95 Juve in Rome
’96 Dortmund in München
So it’s not like finals don’t get slanted heavily in favor of some other teams sometimes. If you want to argue that the locations of the final should be set up in advance you might have a case, but at this point in time the tournament is so mildly attended that they have to find a way to maximize exposure to fans. Maybe when/if soccer is popular enough where Neutral, Seattle and United fans will pack a stadium in Omaha, Nebraska then we can start the early bidding for finals locations until then, it is not gonna happen.
All this A, B, C squad junk is ridiculous. Sounders won as they should have seeing how they fielded a better side. It’s Houston’s fault for playing some of their deep bench players. The Sounders obviously want to play in the CCL next year. When both teams meet again in Houston, hopefully both injury free, with “A” squads on field, we (Seattle) will triumph once again.
WeatherManNX01: “When was the last time D.C. played an away game in the Open Cup? 2007 against Harrisburg at Hempfield High School? I could be wrong, but I think every Open Cup match since then has been at home (or near home at the Soccerplex) for the Black and Red.”
That’s because the Open Cup didn’t come with a CONCACAF Champions League bid until last year. That’s when D.C.U. started taking it seriously — i.e. bidding high on every game to ensure they can stay home. They missed the playoffs last year and still got into the CCL because of the Open Cup.
In essence, D.C. and Seattle are really the only clubs in MLS that get it. That’s why USL clubs do so well in this tournament every year.
The Sounders are doing amazing things people. First season in MLS, and they’re a contender to do the double. They’re the real deal. Not enough of you out there are willing to admit this fact.
Posted by: Hopper | July 22, 2009 at 01:55 AM
Seeing as how they already have more points than the last expansion side finished with (Toronto with 25), I would have to agree! I’m a DC United supporter, but kudos to the Sounders; the entire organization is the envy of the league!
Good thoughts Gregg. The Colorado coaches are freshly removed from the England leagues and their passion for the USOC shows their mentallity.
One way or another, DC United is taking home some silverwear this year…
After all has been said Terry it sounds like you and I totally agree. I want USOC, CCL, etc. to be a higher priority for MLS teams. The fact is that it’s not and I don’t know how much of that is roster size, scheduling, the time of year MLS plays, etc. I understand the thinking but I don’t necessarily like it and it would be nice to change it. I’m rooting for Seattle to come right back and smack Chicago and prove that the way they played the cup match didn’t impact their league play. One more thing, the guys on the field last night for both teams were clearly putting it all out there and it’s a shame that their efforts get overshadowed by this other stuff. I remember a few weeks ago the Colorado coach complaining after their game at Starfire which sounded like sour grapes but I actually think he was complaining about the same things you are – the importance of the Open Cup.
i appreciate the apology .. its good to be able to (try) and keep these comments sections civil … and i know i can be a bit of a flamethrower myself at times too .. anyways /
Gregg, I posted before reading yours. I may be lumping Houstons efforts in with the whole of the MLS in the Champions League, but I remember being irritated when I saw Houston sitting players during the games and DC playing with alot less players available. Seeming to care alot more. Houston is a good team and they played hard last night. I just think when you are one win away from a Championship. You play to win. Priorities or not. A Championship is a Championship. Perhaps if all the teams changed their prioriies, then maybe the USOC would be more of a success.
Ok, maybe not waxed. I watched them get beat 3-0 at Saprissa. I guess that was two years ago. I also, watched them sit Ching and De Rosario on the bench for almost the whole game in Houston, until finally putting in De Rosario to salvage the game. I just see a half assed attemp at the Champions league by Dom. He is not alone. It is a league problem. My point is that Houston has a deep team. They can go after the Champions league and win some respect for the league and they don’t. Sitting your best players in Champions League games, shows where it fits into his priorities. He is an excellent coach overall, but I would be ticked if I were a Houston fan for the lackluster try at the Ch.League and the USOC. By the way, Starfire is an awsome atmosphere, with the fans right next to the field. Like a College basketball game. However, even our own players are not thrilled with playing on that surface. It’s about time the US promote this tournament better and all the games with be played in proper venues like Houston or Qwest.
Terry, there’s no need to be “pissed off” at the coach. It’s a matter of priorities. Teams have to prioritize and make choices and often times injuries and callups are part of the variables. How are you going to play Superliga? CCL? USOC? What’s it worth to you and are you willing to live with possible lost league points? The lineups suggest it was slightly more of a priority for the Sounders which I think is a great choice. New team, crazy excitement, win the trophy and get into CCL! It’s perfect and their decision to start guys like Keller, Montero, Jaqua, Hurtado, etc. is exactly why they deserved to win the match. Kinnear’s choice was different because it is a different situation with different variables – injuries, callups, sitting on top of the table, being on the road for so long, etc. One is not better than the other, just different situations. Glenn Davis offers a much more detailed perspective on the motives of Kinnear and the Dynamo on his website. The bottom line is that the USOC is not a big deal in comparison for MLS clubs, except in certain situations. If I were the Sounders I would do exactly like they did. However, it just may not be in all clubs best interest to treat it the same. I’m glad you are soooo glad you have your coach instead of somebody elses but I bet if the two coaches were in each other’s shoes they would have played it the exact same way. As for last year’s Champions Cup being “embarrassing to Houston and the league”, you simply don’t know what you are talking about. The lineup vs. Saprissa was pretty much full strength with the exception of Onstad and I don’t recall Onstad’s situation at the time. Here it is: Tony Caig, Richard Mulrooney, Craig Waibel (Brian Mullan 6), Patrick Ianni, Wade Barrett, Geoff Cameron, Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario, Corey Ashe, Brian Ching (Chris Wondolowski 78), Franco Caraccio (Brad Davis 74).
As another rational Seattle fan, all 4 of my friends and myself agreed that we faced a strong Houston team in the first half. That team was nowhere to be found after the first 45 though.
Looking forward to 8/23!
I agree with Cisco whole heartedly.
For those running down Dom, while Zigi is a great coach, please do not think for a minute any true Dynamo fan would swap. Dom does more with the talent he has than anyone in soccer. Yes he does have Davis, Ching, Boswell and Clark but look at what has happened to guys like Kamara, Ngwenya (sp?), Holden, Jaqua, and Cameron. These guys really flourished under Dom and John Spencer. Jaqua, Ngwenya and Kamara were finding it hard to flourish with their previous clubs. Cameron and Holden have become starters on the MLS All Star team under Dom. Please do not discount what the guy does in a very short amount of time. This shows how good he is with his players.
Also, Houston did not get “waxed” in CCL. If I recall, they were the only MLS team to make out of the group stages.
I’d just like to say on behalf of rational Seattle fans that all the woofing about how great we are and how we put the beatdown on Houston is really an overexcited, newbie fanbase talking.
Neither team fielded their best team but Seattle certainly played more regulars and the statistical advantage clearly supports that.
But Houston played hard and with discipline (most of the time) and almost won despite Seattle’s offensive dominance, which is a testament to their determination.
I’m actually looking forward to the rematch in Houston next month when hopefully both team are at full strength to get a measure of where the Sounders really stand in this so-far Cinderella season.
I was at the game and Joe B is correct. The moment Houston took the lead, they started lying all over the field. At one time two players were on the ground about 30 yards from each other. I guess they got confused about who’s turn it was to fake. Funny how nobody stayed on the ground for more than a couple seconds for the final 30 minutes. Montero tends to play for the foul quite often. The way he holds the ball tends to cause other players to kick his legs out from under him. Same thing happens to Ljundberg. It’s not always diving, just MLS players knowing they can get away with chopping them down. For all you Dynamo fans trying to find solace in the fact that you didn’t field a full A team. Two things. The depth of experience on your team puts your B team as very capable. You should also be really pissed off at your coach, if he held back on fielding the best squad available in the semifinal. I seam to remember him doing the same thing in the Champions league and getting waxed last year. Embarassing to Houston and the league. I am sooooo glad we have Sigi instead of him.
Joe, my apology for the “idiotic” statement – totally uncalled for. Perhaps I misunderstood your comment about not wanting Kinnear as USMNT coach. Again, both teams were kicking and scratching and it really was an ugly game. I don’t blame Kinnear or Schmidt for anything except motivating their guys to do whatever they have to do to try and get a result.
I think they were just saying it was classless to dismiss the win as seattle’s A team vs houston’s C team when Seattle started 4 reserves to houston’s 7. In the end that’s pointless though. And yes Montero goes down easier than . But the houston back line’s game plan was to tackle (in the american football sense) him whenever he touched the ball.
sounders arent my team; i dont have an mls club in particular; just follow the league
wasn’t following the game too closely; so maybe i missed some context;
does sound like mullan was hurt; but do recall other dynamos sitting down for awhile then hopping up once the stretcher
seemed like quite a few of them
and it reminded me of what certain central american teams do to the US
never once suggested kinnear would be a poor US coach
(ergo to call my claims idiotic when i never made the claim that you are attacking is a bit much)
.. kinnear is clearly one of the best american coaches out there
but the way his players seemed to try and win in the second half isnt the way i want to see the US win
again; i wasnt watching too closely; and maybe this is out of context for how dynamo usually plays; and maybe they weren’t pushing the limits of ‘fair play’ that badly
to me it seemed they were though ..
Game was tough but as most from Houston know, Dom treats these matches (the same as he did last year with their crowded schedule) as reserve matches. 3 starters started last night, with another two coming on (mullan played on one leg for a while). Seattle won, they deserved to win that game. But to discount the fact that Houston played a reserve heavy squad is unreasonable. IMO, I thought it was more a sign of Seattle not being sharp that the game was even in doubt.
And you want to talk about Central American soccer tactics. What about Montero’s diving (which even a Concacaf ref caught onto) and Jaqua’s (who I will take back on the Dynamo any day) “physical” play.
Actually the most difficult thing about watching that match was the commentators. Honestly, do the numbers 10, 23 and 14 really look that much alike? Just aweful.
I will be there when Seattle comes to Houston and gets run out of Robertson by a full Dynamo squad.
Here is the headline and 1st and 2nd para. from the USSF release on final sites.
2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Possible Final Sites Released
– D.C. United, Houston Dynamo or Seattle Sounders to Host Final
CHICAGO (July 16, 2009) — RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas, and Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash., have been named as the possible venues of the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship match. Pending the results of the semifinal matches on Tuesday, July 21, the championship will take place Tuesday, Sept. 1, or Wednesday, Sept. 2.
If defending champion D.C. United wins their semifinal matchup with the Rochester Rhinos, then D.C. will host the final for the second consecutive year. Should the Rhinos advance to the final, they will travel to face the winner of the Houston Dynamo against Seattle Sounders semifinal.
Don’t think Mullan was using shenanigans Joe. Makes no sense to play down a man at that stage for four or five minutes. Also, he was limping at about half speed the rest of the match because Houston had no subs left which is why they had to move him up front and move Kamara to central mid which is a really ugly look to say the least. The game was hard fought and ugly all the way around. You could say similar things regarding Montero’s out-of-control phase about half way through the second half and Jaqua’s five or six attempts at retaliation. Both sides played it ugly, period. To somehow suggest that Kinnear would be a poor USMNT coach because of it is idiotic. Be happy your team gets a chance to play for a trophy (and hopefully a spot in Champions League) and spare us your retarded resolutions.
Went to the game last night great atmosphere. I’m a Sounders fan but Tally Hall was a beast he had to make at least 10 saves in that game 3 or 4 of which were amazing. Still would have rather had the game at Qwest but Starfire was rocking with 4800 fans and they were on top of the ref from minute one.
— many kudos to Seattle FO for livestreaming this game
— houston players reminded me of a nasty central american team faking injuries with stretcher shenanignans and the like —
if that’s how kinnear runs his teams then i don’t want him as USMNT Coach down the road